Goodbye Jet Lag: 5 Energy Hacks for Travelers
Alexander Webb – The Wandering Writer
Travel is great. Feeling terrible because you’re tired is definitely not. When making plans for exotic destinations, it’s easy to get carried away and try to fit everything in. Jet lag—the tiredness caused by our body adjusting to a new time zone—can throw off all of thoseplans. Here’s 5 energy hacks to beat jet lag before it strikes:
Ideally, you want to get as close to the destination time zone as possible—before you set foot on a plane. If you’re flying east, go to sleep earlier, and if you’re flying west, go to sleep later. Depending on where you’re going, this is a great excuse to stay out late and party, or wake up early like your grandparents always wanted you to.
If you’ve got a long flight, try to sleep if its night at the destination time zone, but try to stay awake if its daytime there.
Taking supplements of melatonin, a chemical naturally produced by your body that regulates your sleep cycle, is the sworn solution of many travellers. But beware, sleeping pills are often ineffective, since they only help if you can ensure a full nights rest.
Once you make it to your destination, do your best to get into the local rhythm. An afternoon nap might be tempting, but a long rest wont help you adjust to the local time zone. Sleep when it’s dark, and, for the first few nights, don’t be afraid to sleep longer—you’ll need the extra energy.
Caffeine can interfere with sleep, so be sure to drink it only during the morning, or when necessary to stay awake. An extra cup at the end of the flight might be tempting, but if you’re about to land at night, lay off the joe.
Alex Webb is a traveller who has visited over 30 countries and lived in Hong Kong, Japan, China, South Korea, and the United States. He has written for National Geographic Books and co-authored a book published by the Financial Times Press. When he’s not travelling or writing, he enjoys playing guitar and writing songs. Follow him on instagram at @alxndrwb